By Lisa Lockwood
People reinvent for different reasons: to get a better life, to be more respected, to make more money, to be happier, to get a stronger body, to find a better relationship, to know God, or to make life more interesting. If your ears perk up when you hear about the lawyer who gave it all up to become a fashion designer or the auditor who ditched her accounting firm to start her own pet clothing company, and you wonder how they did it – reinvention is the answer.
If you are curious about what is typical and what is rare among the cases you have seen – the person who yearns for change but remains stuck or the person leaves it all for something completely different – you're ready for a reinvention!
We've all heard of or known people who have ditched their successful careers, given up the stability of the life they've created and switched gears to go in a new direction and become something or someone else. It's not easy nor is it safe, but it's a way get back on track and pursue our unfulfilled dreams and potential. Sometimes it's a reflection of how we've changed and what we now want or need.
We have all reinvented ourselves in some capacity at some point in our lives. Sometimes it's a conscious, calculated choice we make, like pursuing a dream. Other times the reinvention is a product of necessity, when we are forced to change because of external factors, like becoming a caregiver for an aging parent, being the victim of a crime or finding ourselves in a health crisis.
Most of the time, though, people reinvent themselves because of their circumstances, making the reinvention a "must." When we're contemplating making a shift to pursue a goal or dream, we often categorize it as a "should." But shouldn't we classify our goals and dreams as "musts?" The answer is absolutely, positively YES! Successful people are already using this strategy. We all have the capability to have success if we choose to apply the reinvention tool by choice.
Think about how quickly we reinvent ourselves during a crisis. We barely have time to think about it, let alone choose. It's done. All other matters are no longer important. Imagine that you're going about your life, showing up at work, taking care of the kids and the house and then WHAM, catastrophe strikes. All of a sudden, your world is literally turned upside down and your reinvention consumes your life. You surrender to your new role. You re-prioritize your life based on the external event.
Choosing to be a cause for a reinvention doesn't rate very high for most people. We find we're better at clean-up than we are at putting our energy and attention on creating what we truly want. But take it from me: I've been a welfare kid, waitress, beauty queen, battered woman, heavy equipment operator, Desert Storm veteran, police officer, undercover detective, SWAT team member, author, speaker, success coach and step-mom.
We are not what we do. We are the result of the meanings we attached to the compilation of the experiences in our lives. Every door opened to us and closed behind us represents an opportunity for reinvention.